My Rich Coast Instructor Course Experience

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Ranelle Ivens


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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_3″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”no-repeat”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.14″]Who doesn’t want the perfect job? For me the job includes connecting with nature, inspiring others, traveling the world, and most important, diving. It was for these reasons that I chose to become a PADI instructor, and it is because I wanted a proper education that I decided to study through Rich Coast Diving. To this day, I do not regret my decision which is why I’ve decided to share my instructor course experience.

Below you will find my step by step experience and overall opinions of the course. Please know that all thoughts and opinions are authentic. That being said, Rich Coast has offered to give me commissions if you decide to take their course through my article. This is at no extra cost to you but it does help me out, so please let me know if I was helpful to you.
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Lots and Lots of Choices

When trying to decide which Dive school you want to attend the choices can be overwhelming. There are so many options, and if you have any dive experience you know that there some outfits that cut corners, there some that have questionable safety, some mediocre but still good places, and then there are the gems and pearls. When trying to make up your mind you need to first decide what you want. Do you want cheap, sloppy, and potentially dangers? Or would you prefer average pricing, safe diving practices, and a concrete education?

When trying to make up your mind you need to first decide what you want.Click To Tweet


If you decide on the second option then you want to start by looking for a 5 star Career Development Center (CDC). These are PADI dive schools dedicated to training professionals and need to follow safety and standards to uphold their rating. After that it’s about location, and personal preferences. Rich Coast was not only a 5 star CDC, the lead Course Director, Martin, has a Platinum teacher rating. Being that I wanting to train inn Costa Rica Rich Coast was the best option.

Before It All Started

I wanted to make sure that I was prepared to start the actual Instructor Development Course (IDC) training. Brenda (the other Rich Coast Course Director) made this easy by supplying me with the PADI Instructor Crew pack well in advance so that I could study and prep. She even told me what I should focus on which proved to be a big help. The crew pack comes with many materials and as exciting as it is to crack it open like its the biggest present under the tree, it can be a little overwhelming.

Her recommendations were to complete all parts of the work book and get familiar with the encyclopedia, especially in sections that you find more challenging. In addition to this, I was told to study my instructor manual (which you receive during Divemaster Training). All the suggestions she gave proved very useful as they were some of the key focuses of the course.
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The quality of training

I found the Rich Coast instructor training to be top notch. As someone who has witnessed other IDC courses I can say that Martin’s class was very organized, he went through every piece with you, and challenged you with scenarios often. He also places a huge focus on standards and makes sure that his professionals know proper conduct. This keeps things legal and safe, which is key to your success as a PADI professional.

Martin has loads of experience in many faucets of diving and loves to share his knowledge and experience, especially with aspiring professionals. The man’s even been underwater in a diving suit. Big metal helmet and all! I still use the knowledge he passed on through his experiences on a regular basis while teaching and diving. You can assure that in choosing this IDC program you are being taught by someone who knows what they’re talking about.

What you need to know before you start

The Rich Coast IDC is a great program but it is not all rainbows and butterflies. If you are looking for an easy breezy experience this is not the right place. That being said an IDC course shouldn’t be easy. It should challenge you, it should make you think, and should not be a breeze. When you become an instructor you are not only responsible for the safety of your students today. You are responsible for making sure they dive safely for the rest of their diving life.

When you become an instructor you are not only responsible for the safety of your students today. You are responsible for making sure they dive safely for the rest of their diving life.


During my IDC course I felt nervous and stressed and there were even points that I really despised my teacher.  Martin can be really intense and knows how to put the pressure on. However, when I got to the Instructor Examinations (IE) I almost laughed at how easy it was. Rich Coast had trained our class to excellence and you could see the difference between the caliber of students from various IDCs. Suffice to say, at the end of the day if I had to choose where I did my Developmental Course all over again, I wouldn’t change my original choice.

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What is expected of you

If you are taking this IDC or any other for that matter you should take it seriously. Above all else you are expected to act like a professional. What does this mean? It means you are not a kid anymore and it’s time to pull up your sleeves and dig in.

  • Get to class early: class starts on the dot, and it’s highly unlikely that the teacher will hold up the class for one person.
  • Be prepared: have your instructor manual, guide to teaching, and any other relevant materials on hand. Remember your note paper and a pencil!
  • Do your homework: people who fail to complete their homework hold up the class and/or fumble more on presentations. The tasks aren’t that hard so just do it
  • Pay attention: if you aren’t paying attention you are setting yourself up to fail. You will be tested on this information later.

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Loosen up!

  • The IDC can be stressful but do your best to relax and enjoy it. Remember you are a diver, and you are learning how to introduce others to our magical world. The IDC only lasts a week or two and the Instructors Examinations two days. The whole thing will be over before you know it so make sure you buckle down and do your best! Have fun with your classmates and don’t forget to joke around a little. Even your instructor could probably use a laugh once in a while.
  • Your classmates will likely become good friends of yours as you all share an unforgettable experience. During my IDC my classmates and I would get together once in a while after class to take a break and have a few laughs. Sometimes Martin would even join us. These experiences really helped me to take a step back from the more stressful days and remember despite it all I did enjoy learning everything in the IDC.

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You Will Succeed

One thing I remember very clearly from my IDC was a short chat given by Martin. Simply put, he would tell you if you were ready for the IDC or not. If you tend to struggle or happen to be a slow learner, or even if you get a lot of anxiety over tests, you can relax a little. Despite the stress and push you will feel in the development course if Martin does not believe you ready to take the Examination then he will let you know. He and Brenda will also take the time to help you become ready, and that is something you can count on


Have more questions about my Rich Coast Instructor Course Experience? Ask away in the comment section!

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